Are Audiences Tired of Remakes & 3D Movies?

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 24th, 2011 at 8:20 pm,

3D Movies Remakes Discussion Are Audiences Tired of Remakes & 3D Movies?

When you’re immersed in the movie business as deeply as we movie bloggers are, it can be hard to stay in tune with the shifting attitudes and opinions of the general movie going public. Of course it’s also hard getting an accurate reading on public opinion because, frankly, the attitudes of the public are often finicky and unpredictable.

So in that sense, it’s easy to understand why sometimes it’s hard not to be skeptical when movie fans complain about trends in cinema – sometimes they are voicing legitimate concerns or objections – other times, people are just parroting a popular buzz word or phrase that has taken on a certain connotation. A perfect example of this is the word “remake” and its current dirty-word connotation in the movie fan community.

Movie remakes are nothing new (Siskel and Ebert were complaining about them way back in 1976), but since the world economy has become a battlefield of increasing uncertainty, Hollywood has tried to wrestle some sense of security and certainty from the jaws of chaos, by focusing on movies that feature familiar titles and brands. The theory is that fan nostalgia is its own brand of effective marketing – though that theory is getting more and more questionable with each new movie season.

As stated, “remake” has become something of a dirty word, these days. Doesn’t matter if upset fans are using the word in proper context or not, since connotation often overrides the legitimacy of logic and accuracy. Case in point: David Fincher’s upcoming adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which is continuously bemoaned for being an “Americanized remake,” even though it is NOT a remake of the Swedish film by Niels Arden Oplev, but rather its own, separate, interpretation of author Steig Larsson’s bestselling novel. Though Fincher’s film looks to have great potential (check out the hip teaser trailer), there is already a certain negative perception of it, since it’s thought of (incorrectly) as ‘just another stupid Hollywood remake.’

Movie Remakes Discussion Are Audiences Tired of Remakes & 3D Movies?

Another dirty word that is currently being tossed around by movie fans, is “3D.” Director James Cameron dragged the stereoscopic format out of obscurity with his revolutionary movie Avatar, and he hoped (at least for awhile) that the bar he set for the use of 3D would be the high standard amongst Hollywood’s creative visionaries. What we’ve mainly gotten instead is a return to the use of 3D as a cheap gimmick (Clash of the Titans, Alice In Wonderland, Green Lantern), with few notable exceptions (Transformers 3, Final Destination 5) and even fewer 100%  enjoyable 3D movie experiences (….um, can you think of an example?).

Here’s the thing about buzz words, though: it’s often hard to tell when people have a legitimate gripe with the topic being referenced, or if that buzz word/phrase is simply the issue du jour to complain about. Despite the objections that instantly crop up when people hear the words “remake” and/or “3D” mentioned in conjunction with a new movie, it’s hard to know which films fans will ultimately avoid and which they will embrace. (This question looms large over upcoming films like Romancing The StoneShort CircuitDirty Dancing, Shark Night 3D, Underworld: Awakening 3D, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.) Strange as it seems (sarcasm), sometimes, a movie fans have complained about at great length still manages to make a disgusting amount of money (the “Transformers Paradox”).

However, recently two 3D remakes – Fright Night and Conan The Barbarian - had the distinct advantage of being the only major new releases in the later summer lineup – and both 3D remakes fell flat on their faces at the box office.

conan barbarian fright night tv spot Are Audiences Tired of Remakes & 3D Movies?

Two very different 3D remakes, both box office flops.

Now don’t get me wrong: no one was expecting these two films to be major money-raking blockbuster hits. Fright Night is a remake of a campy ’80s movie that didn’t do well at the box office back in the ’80s, but found second life as a cult-classic on home video – while Conan The Barbarian is a movie that did alright at the box office, but really gained second life as a cult-classic Schwarzenegger flick. It’s not like either film had much of a bankable nostalgia factor to coast on, and as of right now, the Fright Night remake has earned a staggeringly bad worldwide gross of just $8 million (against a $30 million budget), while the new Conan is limping around with $16 million in pocket (against a bafflingly-high $90 million budget). Suffice to say: both films are flops.

The question at hand is: Are movie fans doing more than just reciting buzz words now? Are they truly tiring of high-priced 3D gimmicks and rehashed remakes to the point that they’re making a clear and distinct statement with their wallets? We won’t mention any names, but we’ve been hearing increasing word from the Hollywood sector that seems to indicate as much – and the box office numbers are there to analyze and interpret, for anybody curious. You may be surprised at how much these 3D films aren’t making.

In our Fright Night review we deemed the movie to be one of the few worthwhile remakes, even if the 3D wasn’t necessary; our Conan The Barbarian review deemed that movie to be wholly unnecessary on all fronts. So there was a difference in the quality of the respective films, in our opinion: one deserved viewers’ ticket money, the other didn’t. But both failed to draw an audience.

3D Movie Slogan Are Audiences Tired of Remakes & 3D Movies?

Maybe it was the subject matter (vampires are a worn out trend, too) or the ineffectiveness of the marketing (nothing in the trailers or TV spots for either film was particularly enticing). But maybe, just maybe, it’s simply the case that audiences are tired of seeing movies they’ve already seen before (and still remember fondly). Maybe audiences are also tired of being forced to pay considerably more for an often unsatisfying effect gimmick. As much as I enjoyed the film, my $17 Fright Night 3D experience would’ve been better as a $10 2D experience.

We now pose the question to you guys: Let us you know where you currently stand in regards to the issue of movie remakes and 3D. Who knows, maybe somebody in Hollywood will actually listen to what it is you have to say…

Image Sources: Header Image courtesy of EZ Mode Unlocked; Movie Remakes image courtesy of Red Carpet Refs

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  1. Yes, tired of needless too soon remakes. 3-D is pretty stupid too.

  2. My group of friends has sworn of 3D but sometimes it’s hard to find some movies in non-3D so they go anyway. We feel pretty strongly about it.

  3. I don’t care about remakes, I won’t see pay extra for 3D. I still wouldn’t a movie in 3D even it was re same price.

  4. I have only been impressed with the 3D in TF3 and Avatar, however I found I enjoyed both films when watched in 2D just as much. Where possible, if a film is showing in both formats I will always choose 2D, and the 2D showings always seem packed out. Not one of my friends is a 3D fan, and none of us seek out a 3D showing – don’t even get me started on the idea of sitting at home in glasses! Who are these people that think that’s a good idea? I often have friends round for movie night or sports, am I supposed to supply them all with £200 3D glasses. I wish this format would die. Only when we have the technology for full holographic, glasses free images will I be interested.

      • Also they are stupid.

  5. I don’t go to the theaters at all because I refuse to pay a ridiculous amount of money on parking, overpriced junk food and a bad movie.

    In addition, it is summer and maybe people have better things to do than sit in a movie theater.

    • it’s not summer anymore! just ended, and why would you assume it’s immediately a bad movie?

  6. I will say this, if the theatres had ANY good 2D times I would be there to see both. As it stands the only time to see 2D Fright Night at Fenway Boston Theatre is at 12:40 in the afternoon, stupid.

    I had to leave work early to catch the 4:00pm 2D Conan.

    I don’t mind that option of 3D, but hate it when 2D is the option.

    Plus both were back converted, so its garbage anyways.

    • Fright night was actually shot in 3D

  7. I saw fright night yesterday during my local cinemas “back in time tuesdays” where tickets are only 6 dollars. I thought the movie was pretty flawless, i enjoyed seeing it and there wasnt anything in it i could say i didnt like. had i payed the full 3d ticket price, who knows if i would have liked it as mich for 2 times the price. I will say though i am sick of 3D films. i would much rather have seen fright night in 2D, if it wasnt filmed in 3D then i feel the quality isnt worth the price and i just hate having to wear the stupid glasses and how gimmicky its become. like “we can make it 17 bucks and 3d if we just have them throw some crap towards the screen or have some blood platter out”. thats not why i see movies. of all the movies i saw this summer, i would rather have seen them all in 2D (except tansformers 3, that was filmed in 3d and was visually stunning).

    i never planned on seeing the conan remake, maybe i’ll rent it. the classic film was good bc it was so cheesy and it was Arnold, and thats what made it a classic.

  8. I will definitely watch Colin Farrell in Fright Night when it comes out on DVD.

  9. Remakes will never go away. Like it’s mentioned in the article they have been around forever and that will not change. 3D on the other hand is just ridiculous now. I don’t understand how 3D can enhance films like Fright Night or Conan along with the laundry list of other films. And especially if they are not shot in 3D. The only upcoming film I am interested to see in 3D is The Hobbit and that’s because it’s being shot that way and I think it will be amazing to see middle earth in the same way as we saw Pandora in Avatar. Other than that it’s 2D for me.

    • I feel the same way. Seeing Middle Earth in 3D should be fun. Other than that 3D is garbage. I did see Cap in 3D and was surprised at how good it was, but the 3D didn’t really enhance the film. I would have went to the 2D version, but as was previously mentioned, the 2D times are VERY inconvenient.

  10. I don’t think it’s the 3D or “remakes” hurting the b.o. numbers, more of the fact that studios are just pumping out crap films riding on those waves. Fright Night and Conan both just looked like typical Hollywood streamlined film making, and I had no intrest in either one. Not cause of the “3D” or “remake” factor, but more of the fact that they seemed uninspired. In fact, there hasn’t been any films I’ve been excited for since last years oscar bait film season.

    I honestly don’t mind 3D when done appropriately, ala Avatar, or a good re-imagining ala True Grit. So those things don’t really effect me in my decision to see a film. It’s the formulatic nature of writing and paint by numbers way of creating just for profit that turns me off. Let’s not forget that some classics were already remakes as well, The Wizard of Oz.

    I just hope that studios will stop worrying about being in the black and more about quality.

  11. And again, stupid that Fright Night didn’t wait till October and Halloween.

  12. Im tired of the. Remakes. Its too much its pretty clear that the writers are running out of ideas what to write the movie

    • It’s not the writers. This year’s Nicholl Fellowship is wrapping up soon and they had over 6,700 original script entries. About 1,000 of them are decent to excellent. The execs are too afraid of new properties.

      • If an exec has a choice between a new, untested property and an existing one, which one seems less risky? The one that has a ‘brand’. Unless an idea has a brand attached to it (such as a famous director whose movies consistently bring in cash) the execs choose the ‘old and tried’.

        That’s the sad part. As long as people keep coming to see remakes, the execs will always be preferring them to new ideas. The solution, to me, is simple: I avoid remakes like plague.

  13. Holy Crap is this article as late as the studios’ realization to CUT IT OUT!!! Hey Hollywood? Read my lips: I DON’T NEED THINGS COMING AT ME FOR YOU TO GARNER A REACTION ABOUT YOUR FLICK!! I don’t need to pay more to see your movie EITHER. Hello? Does R E C E S S I O N mean anything to you?

    Hey Hollywood? Read my lips: GET ORIGINAL!! YOU CHEAP BASTARDS!! Remakes because you think we’d like it? Stupid morons! THINK AGAIN!!!

  14. I have always hated 3D. Even with Avatar, I felt the experience did not measure up to the ticket price. I’m fine with seeing remakes from the 80s or before, but the new Spider-Man reboot? Ridiculously too soon. I think the economy has also played into this. Movies, no matter how good they are, will not make as much as they could have pre-recession. For instance, I want to see both Conan and Fright Night but will just wait for them to come out on Redbox or DVD to watch them. It’s cheaper.

  15. The only movie I’ve chosen to see in 3D was Avatar. 3D is purely a gimmick in almost all cases as stated in this article. I could not agree with that more. Even if the tickets didn’t cost more, I still wouldn’t see 99% of movies in 3D.

    As for remakes, I’m not purely against them. However, when such a high percentage of movies being released are remakes, that irks me a little. I would much rather see original content. A remake here or there doesn’t hurt, but I want to see new and innovative stuff, not rehashing the same stuff over and over.

    • Exactly! A remake PERIODICALLY is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s the fact that it seems like Hollywood is remaking movies for the sake of remaking them that is ridiculous. I don’t think there is an 80s movie that is not in danger of someone (who more than likely WAS NOT around when the original was made) trying to do an old film one better.

  16. Personally I think when it comes to movie remakes, the issue is they’re trying to “re-make” the movie we know and love. Hollywood prefers to take a name movie and re-imagine it, bending a good movie into something not so good because the producer likes it that way. There is no regard to what the people paying to see would like to see with their classic films, instead you get something that has a bland and unexpected story-line that shares the name of a movie you once enjoyed. Sometimes they do a good job of re-imagining a movie but most of the time it’s not good. My advice: do not change anything, because change is bad.

    On to the issue of 3D. 3D was once cool, it was a thing where stuff would jump out at you, and you only had to endure it once every 10 years. Not anymore, 3D has almost taken over the movie industry, forcing us to pay extra to watch a movie that looks better in 2D and gives people headaches to boot. For example; I loved the movie Thor, great movie all around. But when I saw it in 3D, I could not stand to look at the screen because it hurt my eyes and head so much. Also it didn’t change the story of the movie or make it any better at all, it didn’t even have anything flying out of the screen to scare the kids in the front row… In short, I am suppose to pay extra money to get glasses I can’t wear over my current glasses to watch a movie that ends up making me sick because the 3D hurts my brain and the glasses are rental so I don’t get to keep them to remind me how stupid I was to go see a otherwise great movie in 3D??? Do the math people, 3D needs to go back to its shadows and wait 10 years to try something better.

  17. I don’t like 3D!! Only movie i really wanted to watch in 3D was Avatar, but that was because i was forced – and it was James Cameron of course.

  18. There’s nothing wrong when 3D is done right (Avatar, How to Train Your Dragon, Transformers 3). But as usual, Hollywood loves to cut corners and save a buck, so they release craptastic 3D “conversions” like Clash of the Titans, et al. that ruin the 3D brand. The never-ending stream of remakes doesn’t help, and neither did the fact that the two flicks referenced in this article (Fright Night and Conan) looked like complete and utter crap. At the end of the day, people can detect a stinker from a mile away, 3D or no.

  19. I don’t like 3D, almost nobody does!! Only movie i really wanted to watch in 3D was Avatar, but that was because i was forced – and it was James Cameron of course.

    • “…almost nobody does (like 3D)!!”? If no one went to 3D movies, then theaters would stop showing them. 3D works very well when it focuses on giving the audience visual depth, rather than throwing things at them. Adding 3D in post sucks and almost never works. Cut corners on 3D and your movie will suffer for it.

  20. The whole 3-D gimmick has gotten way out of hand and is kinda overrated, not to mention there were some movies that didn’t need to be in 3-D. To me, films should only be in 3-D if they are animated (like Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks animated films) or some Sci-Fi films (like “Avatar” and “Tron: Legacy”).

    As for remakes, I’m a little of tired of them too like most people but I’m not on the bandwagon like some other people where they think Hollywood is doing remakes because they are running out of ideas. Hollywood is not running out of ideas, this whole remake phase is just a setback, the writers want to write new ideas but right now they have to deal with what’s being handed to them right now just to make ends meat.

    • Exactly. Writers write what they’ve been hired to write. There is no shortage of good ideas in the industry; there is a shortage of balls.

  21. I will ONLY see a movie in 3D if it was shot in 3D (Avatar, Transformers 3), not if it is post-conversion (pretty much everything else). I will also only see a remake if it looks good (Fright Night) or if it has a favorite actor of mine (Chris Hemsworth might be in the Dirty Dancing remake). That is it. I will not automatically slam a movie if it is in 3D or if it is a remake, but I do roll my eyes every time I hear about those subjects.

    • I’m pretty much with you. The flick has to be shot in 3D from the get-go, or a 3D animated feature. The key is depth rather than poking people in the eye with sticks or throwing things at them. When 3D is used for depth, immersion is created. When 3D is used as a gimmick, then it’s a gimmick. Adding 3D in post never works well and studios need to stop doing it. Like anything else, if you cheapen the brand, then you eventually destroy the brand. We see this with the endless rounds of sequels and remakes ruining the brands of once-loved properties.

      • The post 3D conversion of “Conan: The Barbarian” was pretty good except a true 3D film from the get go has the structure to the 3D along with depth instead of just have the depth that post production 3D films do.

  22. I was forced to see Fright Night in 3d due to nearby theaters. I think the movie lost a good 30 percent of my enjoyment due to 3d gimmick and straining my eyes in all the dark scenes. Saw conan in 2d and it was Lackluster.

  23. I don’t mind 3D on some movies but it is not needed if the story is good. If you’re into a movie it is not going to matter 2D or 3D. I don’t have to pay for movies either way though so I will usually watch the 3D if it is available. One of the perks of my career and no I don’t work in the movie theater or anything movie related. Just soap opera drama related :D

  24. I don’t mind remakes at all, as long as theyre good, (which is apparently a lot to ask), but I really hope 3D dies soon.

  25. I don’t mind remakes at all, as long as they’re good, (which is apparently a lot to ask), but I really hope 3D dies soon.

  26. I honestly think that a remake is okay if the story is good and can be done better. There are some classics that should not be messed with though. We all know that the intent [of Hollywood] is merely to milk the potential revenue a franchise can generate anyway. Hollywood could care less about the people’s opinion. They also always have a new audience to appeal to as long as the human race keeps procreating. This brings me to my next point about 3D. It’s really just a fad that was tried in the late 80s-early 90s and failed, and will surely fail again at some point. I know people that didn’t see the 3D movies this week purely because it costs $15 a pop and it was virtually the only thing the theater was offering unless we went to a matinee showing. The technology has barely changed, you just get better glasses to wear. Some movies can hack it (How to Train Your Dragon), but others should be ashamed for trying (Clash of the Titans).

  27. I have only seen ONE 3D movie since its come back into popularity. That movie was Jackass 3D. I know Avatar was great and plenty of movies make effective use of 3D, but Jackass IS what 3D was meant for. They made the movie AROUND the 3D technology and it was great because of it. I still watch it in 3D. It might not be the best film, but it is the best 3D film. Its all gimicks, gross out, and hilarity. Thats what 3D used to be, and thats how it should be remembered.

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